Graduate Studies

Recreation, Park & Tourism Administration

“The RPTA department at WIU provided not only an educational atmosphere but also a nurturing one. They care about their students’ futures and provide the proper guidance to help each student excel.” – Jeannette Huber, MS, 2004 Executive Director, Parks and Recreation, Alsip Park District

Program Overview

As technology, lifestyles, work patterns, values, and the needs of communities change, the recreation, park and tourism profession is challenged to provide even more meaningful leisure opportunities for all people regardless of age, gender, ability, race, and ethnicity.

The Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration (RPTA) at Western Illinois University is meeting this challenge by preparing professionals for a variety of demanding and rewarding leisure services.

Why Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration at WIU?

Exciting and rewarding career opportunities are available to RPTA graduates through employment in the following:

  • Urban community leisure service agencies
  • Suburban community leisure service agencies
  • Rural community leisure service agencies
  • Church recreation
  • Commercial recreation
  • Tourism industry
  • Senior citizen centers
  • State and national parks
  • Outdoor recreation agencies
  • Adventure recreation agencies
  • Health clubs
  • Resorts
  • Cruise ships
  • Upscale hotels
  • Community therapeutic recreation organizations
  • Hospital-based therapeutic recreation programs
  • Moral, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) in the Armed Services
  • Camps
  • Correctional institutions
  • Experiential education programs
  • Youth service organizations

Our Faculty

All graduate faculty possess terminal degrees in recreation, parks, tourism, or other related fields. Each faculty member has a particular area of expertise ranging from public administration, nonprofit management, therapeutic recreation, outdoor recreation, tourism, facility management, and camp administration. Faculty members are recognized nationally and internationally for their research and publications.

Quick View

Degrees Available:

  • M.S.
  • Integrated Bachelor's/Master's


  • Macomb
  • Quad Cities

Required GPA:

  • Cumulative: 2.75 or
  • Last 2 years: 3.0

Admission Requirements:

  • Goals Statement
  • Transcripts
  • Resume
  • Three Letters of Recommendation

Interesting Facts: Fall 2020

  • Currently enrolled: 23
  • International: 0
  • Minority: 2
  • Male: 10
  • Female: 13
  • Students with Assistantships: 13

Department Contact Information:

Currens Hall 400